Mala Hotpot (Review)
Mala Hotpot has become so popular in Singapore in recent years such that it is almost impossible to ignore it. In fact it has become somewhat a staple for some as they crave and savor the insane levels of spiciness in the dish.
I remember doing a half-baked review of this other Mala place named 日日生麻辣香锅 which was located in Chinatown and another outlet in Tampines. The most outstanding difference is that they charge the items according to the portion as opposed to most other places that charge it according to type of ingredients and its weight.
But I also mentioned that my favourite Mala Hotpot had to be the one at Tampines Mall at the Kopitiam Food court. The prices are exorbitant as they charge according to weight of the ingredients and prices range from a low ten to about twenty dollars for a bowl.
You can choose from a huge variety of ingredients and they are mostly fresh as the stall is quite popular. So at least the ingredients enjoy high turnover, which is good. I love it because they use a particular soya bean to fry the ingredients and it is delicious.
I usually take the 少辣 (read: least spicy) version of the Mala Hotpot so that I could enjoy my lunch but that day I decided to have the works and opted for 大辣 (read: very spicy). Thinking back it was most definitely a mistake.
At level 3 spiciness, which was also the maximum level of spiciness before it becomes illegal, your tastebuds are wretched and there is very little taste of anything else except the stinging and burning sensation of the chilli. It’s Mala Hotpot Hell if there was such a thing as Mala Hotpot Paradise. Neither exist, but you can imagine the agony and pain that my mouth was going through.
But the sadist in me rather enjoyed it and finished the entire bowl but at the same time vowed silently to never order these ridiculous levels again. In fact when I ordered, the counter guy let out a smirk and laughed to himself. He probably thought I was being silly. He wasn’t wrong to have thought that way. It was foolhardy. Maybe I should consider buying my own Mala Hot Sauce to cook at home. Now that would be a pretty good idea.
Don’t get me wrong, I still love Mala Hotpot even though there was no trace of umami in this dish. It was very nicely prepared and I would still eat there. By far it is one of my favourite Mala Hotpot places. My favourite ingredients to order would be the mushrooms (all types) and chewy soya bean sticks and big intestines. Shiok!